Tuesday, July 22, 2014

God Is Not Mad At You

by Clint Byars

Audio Message Available
Why do we use this phrase? Why do we make such a bold claim? Let’s let the Word of God speak for itself.

Jeremiah 31:31-34
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah - not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord : I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.”

Isaiah 54:5-10
For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you, Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused," Says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer. “For this is like the waters of Noah to Me; For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no longer cover the earth, So have I sworn that I would not be angry with you, nor rebuke you. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed, but My kindness shall not depart from you, nor shall My covenant of peace be removed,” Says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

1 Corinthians 4:20
For the Kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.

Romans 1:16, 17
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Power doesn’t necessarily mean miracles although miracles, signs and wonders follow those who believe Jesus preached the kingdom which is the message of the new covenant.

Jesus preached the Kingdom which is the message of the new covenant. He preached that God’s wrath would be satisfied and God would no longer hold people’s sins against them because of what he was about to do. If you don’t see that, go back and read these passages again.

Repent believe the gospel
Spread the Gospel so Jesus' Kingdom will increase. The Gospel of the Kingdom is that God is not holding your sins against you, he’s judged them in Christ, now repent and believe the Gospel because God is not mad at you.

Check out this sermon for even more explanation.

Alternative Therapies for Pet Joint Problems

by Dr. Sarah

In this episode of Pet Talk, Dr. Sarah explains how laser therapy offers a ray of hope for dogs and cats dealing with the pain associated with degenerative joint disease.

Be sure to share this important message on alternative therapies with your fellow pet parents!

View Dr. Sarah’s video now ...

Worm Composting

By Amy Grant

Vermicomposting is the term for worm composting bins.  It's an environmentally friendly way of reducing food scrap waste with the added boon of creating nutritious, rich compost for the garden.

One pound of worms (about 1,000 worms) will eat about ½ to 1 pound of food scraps per day. It’s important to know what to feed worms, the vermicomposting do’s and don’ts, and how to feed composting worms.  Worms love to eat and spend most of their time doing so. So what to feed worms and what should you avoid putting in the worm bin?   Read the entire article.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Newsletter - 7/15/14

View This Newsletter On the Website.

Hello Dear Friends!

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Wild Blueberries in Backyard
See More Blueberry Photos
We have been blessed by having a lot of wild blueberries in our back yard near the edge of the woods where the sun gets in.  They don't produce the bigger blueberries that we buy at the market, but they're about half the size and all kinds of wildlife love them.

We see birds eating them, the deer nibbling, the fox and the rabbit eats them but also loves hiding in that area where they can't be seen by the hawk.  Each year the area grows.  We've never had to do anything with the bushes.  They just take care of themselves.

That's what I love about native plants.  They are just there.  Even in a bad year the wildflowers may die off from drought, but they come back stronger the following year.  Native plants cost a bit more initially when you buy them, but all the fuss over them is not required.  Choosing the proper location is the most important decision. Soil enhancements (peat moss, fertilizer, top soil, compost) don't need to be added to the planting hole.

Native plants do not require fertilizer if planted in the right place. They will respond to sunlight, rainfall, soil temperatures, and humidity and grow at a naturally sustainable rate. To encourage faster growth fertilize lightly but only four to six weeks after planting. Keep in mind that new tender growth attracts hungry insects. It's a trade off.  If you choose to fertilize use a slow release organic fertilizer or better yet use your own compost.   
Learn more about native plants here.
Find a native plant nursery near you.

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Female Ruby-throated Hummingbird
on Blue-Black Salvia
 View More Hummingbird Photos
Anybody traveling to Maine this summer?  Maine has a statewide birding trail mapped out so you can visit natural areas no matter where you land in the state.  Get more information and event dates at www.mainebirdingtrail.com.  I think Maine is an awesome state in the summer, but I sure can't imagine living there with so much of their year being winter.

Do you have hummingbirds fighting for your feeders?  Why do they have to be so selfish?  You would think they thought that they had something to do with the provision of food for them the way they fight over the feeder.  But then don't we seem to be the same way?  Somehow we imagine we've had a hand in our daily provision when everything good is God's blessings upon us.  We must always expect good from Him so those blessings and promises will flow towards us, not away from us as when we expect bad to come into our lives all the time with negative things we speak over ourselves.

One thing you can do to space your feeders is to put one in the front of the house and one in the back.  If you want them all in the same area, you could use a trellis and grow peas or flowers on the trellis with the feeders spread apart so that the peas hide each of them so more than one bird can feed at a time and not be seen by another.  Wasps are also a problem with hummingbird feeders.  You can dip your finger in cooking oil and rub it around the ports.  No more wasps!

I'm really excited that I am back out in the garden touching leaves and dead-heading flowers and looking for all the little wonders that appear out of nowhere in the garden.  How delightful it is.  My whole body is in smiles when I'm out there.  We've been blessed with plenty of rain so our plants are doing well.

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Pretty Red Mushroom
View More Photos of Mushrooms
The rain also allows fungus food to do well too, so we're seeing all kinds of mushrooms.  We have quite an array of them and I can't believe how beautiful some of them are.  The wildlife love them.  I've seen deer and squirrels eating them and can only assume our skunks, raccoons, possums and fox enjoy them too.  God gave them an instinct to know what's edible unlike humans who have died because what they ate looked like a non-toxic mushroom, but turned out not to be.

Speaking of watering .... anybody need an idea for an old garden hose?  What about repurposing it into a door mat?  I saw the idea in Birds and Blooms and there's a step-by-step how-to video to see how it's done.

How about a few more repurposing tips?  Pantyhose can be used for a variety of things, but they do really great on the bottom of pots so that the water can pass through the overflow holes, but it keeps the dirt in the pot.  Use them in the food garden to stuff melons into them so they are off the ground to eliminate rot, mold and insect invasion.  Waiting for one of your favorite flowers to produce seeds, but the birds are eating them all up?  Slip a toe of pantyhose over a few heads and twist tie to secure and then let the leaves dry and fall inside your little pouch.

What about a sandbox that is no longer being used.  Children too old for it?  It will make a great herb planter.  Just add a few drainage holes to the bottom.  The sides of an old crib makes a great trellis.  Paint it and lean it up against something.  You also use the sides of a crib to cover something unsightly in the garden, like an electrical box or maybe an air conditioner.  Paint in a color that blends with your home.  Here's an article with 30 crib uses.

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Montezuma Oropendulas in Banana Tree
Finca Luna Neuva - Costa Rica Lodge

Thanks to Charlene in California for sending a link to a You Tube video on Harvesting Bananas.  Being a fan of Costa Rica, where this video is taken at one of the Dole banana plantations, made it even more interesting.

My visits to Costa Rica have always been in areas where bananas grow wild.  They provide so much food for the wildlife, and we're not talking just monkeys.  Many species of birds love bananas and there's even a beautiful bird in Costa Rica called a Bananaquit.  Actually there are several varieties of these birds. The link is one that I took while at La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica.

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Cultivated Pineapples
Finca Luna Nueva Lodge and
Organic Sustainable Farm
Knowing that Dole also has a pineapple plantation in Costa Rica, I did a search on You Tube and found a video on Growing Pineapples.

There's a science to buying local pineapples in Costa Rica.  The gal that purchased the food for Finca Luna Neuva Lodge would choose pineapples that would successively ripen as each day went by.  Pineapple was on the menu every day and it was so amazingly delicious when picked only a few days before.

Enjoy the videos and be sure to have your children or grandchildren watch also.  These days most kids have no idea that food comes from fields and dirt.  They only know you get it at the grocery store.

Speaking of children ... how many young children have been told that the person they loved that had just died was taken by God?  What does this do to the mind of that child and the view of God?  When I was 9 both of my great grandparents died within hours of each other, so when I came home from school they were both dead.  It was a traumatic time for my grandparents (who raised me) because we had always lived with them or right beside them.

I grew up in Pennsylvania Dutch country and generations were used to living together and helping to raise the children.  I was very close to my Papa and he was the one who always had me at the parks feeding pigeons, other birds and squirrels.  He loved to bake and I loved to eat bread dipped in hot Hershey's Cocoa.  That's a powerful memory even today.

From Stuff Jesus Never Said
As are the comments from people at the funeral, such as "God needed them in Heaven."  I remember saying my prayers every night, loving my First Bible Picture Book, going to Vacation Bible School and Sunday School ... but after that experience I don't remember ever going back to church.

My image of God had certainly been changed by an idle comment from somebody struggling to help me make sense of death when they never understood it themselves.  The Bible tells us that Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy.  God doesn't have any part in it.  He tells us to choose life.  I used to say that God doesn't kill people or make them sick, but He allows it for our good.  That's before I really knew God.  What Father would put death and disease on His children and call it good?

James 1:17 says, "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."  God is love.  That never changes.  He doesn't just love ... He IS love. We may try to justify in our minds that being God we don't understand it all, so we can accept disease and early death as some kind of badge to wear, but our minds lose that father-child connection in our hearts.  We may still say we love God, but it's with our minds, not our hearts.

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Squeek aka Kitty Girl
Enjoying Her Cozy Cuddle
View More Photos of Squeek
We celebrated our kitty's birthday yesterday.  Squeek (aka Kitty Girl) is now 18 years old which is pretty good for an FIV (similar to HIV in humans) kitty.  She still enjoys playing and purring.  She loves her head rubbies and was happy to have as many as she wanted for her birthday.  She, like me, couldn't think of any "stuff" that she wanted, so that was simply enough.

At the end of last summer Randal discovered we had mold in our crawl space.  After studying online and having a few estimates of what could be done (with a variety of ideas that only served up a bit of confusion), we decided to put a fan down there to circulate the air until we knew what we wanted to do.  One method required you leave the house for 24 hours and it would kill any living creature in the crawl space.  My take on that was could 24 hours really provide safety for something so toxic?  Or was that just to get the smell out of the house without getting the toxic gases out.

Mold and mildew are a concern with summer in humid areas.  You don't want to share your house or crawl space with these spores which will only multiply and cause health problems.  Rather than choosing one of the toxic mold remover products on the market, there are natural ways to kill mold that won't hurt your family and pets.  Here's some simple solutions.

Last but not least, I am excited to report that I have lost 30 pounds in 12 days.  That's the water/stored fluid that has been pouring off my body since July 4th.  What a holiday weekend we had.  I made the choice to go in to the hospital early July 4th at 1:30 AM and was finally moved to a room at 10:30 AM and stayed for 57 hours to move this fluid off.  Had not stayed in a hospital since I delivered our only child, which was 35 years ago next month. What a blessing on the big private room I had with a view.  All rooms were private in this hospital.

View From My Hospital Bed - What a Blessing!
Things were looking pretty grim with that much fluid on my abdomen and I wasn't able to eat or drink anything without pain.  As you know I'm not fond of hospitals and the recent experienced reminded me why.  It's sad how many "mistakes" are made.  For one who is alert and checking behind what is logged on charts you can get it all straight, but most folks don't go to that detail. And most folks don't know you don't have to accept all the tests they want to put you through.  I was blessed with a few great nurses, a not-so-great night nurse, and a nice doc that listened to my input.

Have a blessed time with the Lord this week.  Be still and know Him!

P.S. Anything in here that might help somebody you know?
Here's a link to the online version of this newsletter:  

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written by Donna

Posts Since Last Newsletter

Prozac for Pets Grows in Popularity

God's Kind of Love

Benefits Of The Black Gum Tree

Newsletter - 7/1/14 (DLW)

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Newsletter - 6/15/14 (DLW)

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The Mysterious Brown Thrasher  (DLW)

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Pet Safe Fertilizers for Lawn & Garden

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Newsletter - 5/15/14 (DLW)

You Are Wired For Love

Our Abba Daddy

The Ethics of Native Plant Gardening

Doctor Speaks on Vaccination Indoctrination

Believing Is More Than a Choice

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Miniature Ponds – How To Build

Heart Health for Humans and Pets

I Can't Is Not A Good Decision

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© All photos unless otherwise noted are the property of Donna L. Watkins and cannot be displayed without approval. 

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Prozac for Pets Grows in Popularity

From Care2.com

Animal pharmaceuticals are a booming business. Salon also reported that the pet pharmaceutical business has grown from $6.68 billion in 2011 to a projected $9.25 billion by 2015. Zoetis Inc., once a subsidiary of Pfizer, is at the top of the pharmaceutical chain, with yearly sales of Pfizer’s animal pharmaceuticals worth roughly $3.9 billion.

With the July 4th holiday coming up in America, veterinary practices are expecting their busiest week of the year. People are seeking anti-anxiety drugs for their fireworks phobic dogs and cats.

Incidentally, the busiest day of the year for shelters in the U.S. is July 5th, as sound sensitive dogs left outside during fireworks escape, seeking safety and quiet.

One in seven dogs has an anxiety disorder that has been treated by a veterinarian. Reconcile is an FDA-approved just like Prozac, except it comes with a beef-flavor and is chewable. The company “Lilly” funded a study in 2007 that reported 17 percent of American dogs have separation anxiety.  Read the entire article.

Additional Resources
Thunder Phobia Dog Uses Herbs

God's Kind of Love

by Andrew Wommack

Matthew 8:9-10, "For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do this, and he doeth it. When Jesus heard it he marveled, and said to them that followed, Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel."

Reference:  Matthew 8:5-13, Luke 7:1-10

There were only two things in all of scripture that caused Jesus to marvel. They were (1) the Centurion's faith and (2) the Jews' unbelief (Mk. 6:6).

A faith that made Jesus, who is the author and finisher of our faith, marvel is worth examining. This centurion believed that the spoken word of Jesus was sufficient to produce his miracle. He didn't need Jesus to come to his house. He had faith in Jesus' word.

Therefore, we can see that the person who simply believes the written Word of God is operating in a much higher form of faith than those who require additional proof. Compare this centurion's faith with the "little" faith of Thomas in John 20:24-29!

Thomas refused to believe what He couldn't see or feel. Our five senses were given to us by God and are necessary to help us function in this life. But if we do not renew our minds to acknowledge the limits of the five senses, they will keep us from believing. Faith can perceive things that the senses cannot (Heb. 11:1).

The type of faith that Thomas operated in was a human or natural faith that was based on what he could see. Jesus said there was a greater blessing to be obtained. That greater blessing comes from using a supernatural, God-kind of faith that is based only on God's Word.

Jesus and God's Word are one (Jn 1:1, 14). Believing God's Word is not just putting your trust in some printed words on the pages of a book we call the Bible. There is much more involved. It is a relationship with a person, the person behind the words. Get to know Him through His Word.

Visit Andrew's website.

Benefits Of The Black Gum Tree

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Our View of Black Gum Trees at Breakfast Area
© Donna L. Watkins
by Karyl Seppala

Black Gum (Nyssa sylvatica, aka Black Tupelo) – There is not much to complain about it as a shade tree – it’s a beautiful addition to a wildlife garden, low maintenance and works well in an ornamental landscape. They have proven themselves to be hardy, tolerant of different soils, sun and water and all around easy to have on my property.

If watered well when young it can develop a deep root system that can be useful as erosion control for slopes and banks.  As an ornamental choice, Black Gum works well by providing beautiful foliage spring through fall.

In the spring the new growth is red tipped so the entire tree has an outer layer of color, adding a bright, interesting spot in a landscape. The autumn color is simply WOW. Bright yellows to reds will light up a landscape. This is when Black Gum shines the most – it is a stunner.  Read the entire article.